Thursday, January 31, 2008

People Giving to People

Fundraising is an art, its an old art. It is the art of prying money out of those that have money and giving it to those that don't. I use the word prying on purpose. I use it because that it was it is and that is what it feels like. The reason that it feels like prying is because there is a great income disparity betwween those that are asking for money and those that are giving it. Your average Development Director or Advancement professional is making between $40,000 and $90,000. There are myths about development professionals making well beyond $150,000, but I have yet to meet a single one of them. So the fact remains, we have people of modest means asking people with a whole lot of means for money.

The disparity between the asker and the askee can be a problem, but it does not have to be. We as fundraisers, must put ourselves aside and put our cause first. Fundraisers must look deep into their cause and decide it is worth advocating for. If you cannot do this as a fundraiser, quit today. You will never be able to get a donation if you cannot be as committed to your cause as you want your donor to be. Sure, there are a number of different techniques for pulling in donors, but committement to your cause is the number one way that you will pull others in. If cannot convey your committment to your cause you will fail on paper and you will fail in person.

Traditional fundraising courses will have you believe that there is a technique to everything. They will have you believe that there is an approach that will unlock the dollars for your organization. The truth is that people give money to people. Unless you are ready to believe in your own cause and transfer that belief to people of means, you are destined to fail. Understand your cause, believe in it, and share the excitement. That is fundraising that works.

1 comment:

flem said...

Thank you, it's very interestingly. I wish you all the best.